Man out on bond in drug cases faces new charges after officer-involved shooting

Jamel Barnes

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee man out on bond in drug cases faces new charges after he was shot by an officer on Wednesday, Aug. 14 near 21st and Townsend. Police said it happened after officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert, and Jamel Barnes turned toward them while armed with a gun.

Barnes, 29, faces the following charges, filed Friday, Aug. 16:

  • Intentionally point firearm — law enforcement officer, etc., use of a dangerous weapon
  • Felony bail jumping — four counts
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon
  • Possession with intent to deliver controlled substance (cocaine), greater than five to 15 grams, use of a dangerous weapon
  • Possession of narcotic drugs

According to a criminal complaint, on Aug. 14, officers on patrol near 27th and Townsend received a ShotSpotter notification near 21st and Townsend. As officers were approaching a home in that area, a man appeared from the yard, and the officers saw that he was armed. An officer shouted to him to, “Drop the gun,” which was at the man’s right side, in his right hand. An officer believed it was partially in the man’s front pocket or waistband. The man then fled on foot, heading southbound on 21st Street, ignoring the commands of officers. Officers chased him, with one officer yelling at him to, “Drop the gun.” As the man got to the top of a hill, he turned toward the officers, pointing a pistol in their direction. An officer fired two gunshots at the man, followed by two more gunshots. A purple handgun was found on the ground near the man, and medical attention was secured.

The body camera video from this incident was compared to a booking photo of Barnes, and he was identified as the suspect in this incident. At the hospital, the complaint said Barnes was “belligerent, uncooperative, and demanding water from the staff.”

The complaint noted a spent casing was located in the area of the initial ShotSpotter alert near 21st and Townsend. The purple firearm was compared with that casing, and it was consistent with the casing.

Officer-involved shooting near 21st and Townsend

A neighbor told investigators she heard a loud bang outside and soon heard numerous shots fired. She said she went outside and saw her daughter’s friend, Barnes, screaming. She advised he drives a black VW, which was located in a nearby alley — still running. At the City Tow Lot, the complaint said mail and a DOT photo of Barnes were found in the vehicle, along with a digital scale.

In two bags containing Barnes’ property, the complaint said investigators found $1,248 in a pair of pants, 6.26 grams of cocaine base, and .75 grams of fentanyl.

Officer-involved shooting near 21st and Townsend, Milwaukee

Barnes made his initial appearance in court on Saturday, Aug. 17. Probable cause was found for further proceedings, and a preliminary hearing was set for Aug. 27. Cash bond was set at $50,000.

The complaint said Barnes was out on bond in a case in which he was charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine, five to 15 grams out of Milwaukee County in April 2018, and a Washington County case in which he was charged with two counts of manufacture/deliver cocaine, one to five grams, one count of manufacture/deliver cocaine, five to 15 grams, and three counts of felony bail jumping in May 2019 — ordered to commit no further crimes.

In the Washington County case, a bench warrant was issued on May 29.

In the Milwaukee County case, a bench warrant was issued in June after Barnes failed to appear in court. A return on warrant hearing was scheduled for Aug. 23.

In October 2016, Barnes pleaded guilty to vehicle operator flee/elude officer, and he was sentenced to serve one year in the House of Correction, with credit for eight days’ time served.

In November 2016, Barnes pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing an officer, habitual criminality repeater. He was sentenced to serve four months in the House of Correction, which was stayed, and he was placed on probation for a year.

In February 2013, Barnes pleaded guilty to one count of resisting or obstructing an officer, and he was sentenced to serve six months in the House of Correction.

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